A survey conducted by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) among employees of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) revealed a resoundingly positive response to child-care facilities to be set up onsite by the end of 2009, under the National Child Care Project.
In July this year, DEWA signed an MOU with DWE to set up childcare facilities at DEWA headquarters, in accordance with the Corporate Child Care Policy for Dubai Government Departments, and in compliance with DWE-established NCC Standards, which are based on internationally benchmarked practices in quality childcare.
According to Hessa Tahlak, Senior Manager of Research and Analysis at DWE, the survey results revealed interesting insights into the mindset of working women in Dubai government entities, who are the target beneficiaries of the NCC Project.
“One of the key objectives of DWE is to promote a healthy work-life balance among working women through different projects and initiatives. One such initiative is the National Child Care Center which is an extremely useful and beneficial resource in this regard. The survey conducted at DEWA provided revealing insights into factors that affect working mothers’ ability to care for their children and concentrate at work, and the perceived benefits of workplace childcare centers with well-developed curriculums and activity schedules. The results of this survey provide the surveyed party (in this case DEWA) with a clear understanding on employee’s needs and expectations of the upcoming project before the implementation phase. In addition, it assists DWE’s Research Department to develop further initiatives that benefit working women and facilitate real change,” says Tahlak.
The survey was conducted on a sample of DEWA employees – 79% of whom were female and 21% male. The majority of respondents were married (84%) and Emirati (84%).
“The value of conducting a study of this nature in collaboration with DWE lies in the maximum impact and benefit achieved from this child-care facility as a result of an in-depth knowledge of employees’ expectations and needs prior to its establishment. In this way we aim to enhance productivity, turnover and employee satisfaction” Fatima Salman Deemas Senior Manager – Employee Relations
According to Tahlak, the positive response to establishing a quality workplace childcare facility is the most significant feedback, with a view to more government entities implementing initiatives such as the NCC Project. 92% of respondents said they would consider placing their child in a childcare facility if the employer (in this case DEWA) provided it in their workplace. In addition, 87% considered a proper childcare center with a standard curriculum throughout the duration of the employee’s time at work to be the best childcare center method compared to a baby crèche (selected by only 11%).
“This is exactly what the new childcare center at DEWA aims to provide. Established according to the National Child Care Standards, developed by DWE, the center will ensure a safe and nurturing environment, and a challenging curriculum that fosters the physical, intellectual, psychological, social and emotional development of the child. Working mothers will be reassured by their proximity to their children during work hours and their ability to check up on the quality of care, which will translate into greater concentration and productivity at work, benefiting both employers and employees.” says Tahlak.
“We will continue to work closely with DWE in the upcoming months towards a successful implementation of the DEWA child care-facility – according to the National Child Care Standards established by DWE – meeting our objective to provide a supportive work environment for our employees who have small children and are facing the challenge of balancing family life with their professional commitments” says Deemas.
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